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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 08:51 GMT
GB pair ditch Tour for Olympics
Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins is the reigning Olympic pursuit champion
British duo Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish will miss the 2008 Tour de France in order to concentrate on the Olympic Games in Beijing next August.

Wiggins's decision is no surprise as format changes have reduced his chances of a stage win but Cavendish would have had a shot at claiming an early stage.

"I know the Tour is more important than the Olympics, but in Britain that's not the case," said Cavendish.

"I'll concentrate on the track after the first part of the season."

He dreams big but he knows he can't achieve everything at once

Mark Cavendish's mentor Rob Ellingworth

The pair are currently competing in the Six Days of Ghent track event, which ends on Sunday, and their decision to take part is seen as a strong indication they will form a Great Britain Madison team in Beijing.

Olympic pursuit champion Wiggins, who won the Six Days of Ghent race in 2003, is riding well but Cavendish, who won the Madison at the 2005 world championships with Rob Hayles, has been well off the pace in Belgium.

Instead of racing in the Tour de France, which takes place in July, the duo will ride in the Giro d'Italia in May.

"A stage win in the Giro is maybe more manageable than at the Tour," said Cavendish's mentor, British Under-23 coach Rob Ellingworth.

"It's a sensible approach. Mark dreams big but he knows he can't achieve everything at once.

"We'll do some training camps between now and the start of the Giro, looking at the stage finishes but also the mountain stages - because the aim is for Mark to finish.

"He wants to finish and to win a stage along the way."

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